Kansas Ready for Sunflower Showdown with No. 11 K-State

Bowen Transcript (.pdf) | Notes

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas hits the road for one final contest in 2014 when the Jayhawks take on in-state rival No. 11 Kansas State in the annual Sunflower Showdown Saturday, Nov. 29.

The 111th edition of the rivalry matchup kicks off at 3 p.m. with a live broadcast on FOX Sports 1.


  • Kansas owns a 579-597-58 all-time record entering Saturday’s game at Kansas State.
  • Kansas is looking to break several long streaks when it travels to Kansas State. KU has lost 29-consecutive true road games and 32 games away from Lawrence overall. Kansas’ last road win came at UTEP on Sept. 12, 2009. The Jayhawks have not won a Big 12 Conference road game since defeating Iowa State, 35-33, on Oct. 4, 2008, a span of 25 true road games and 28 overall Big 12 games outside of Memorial Stadium.
  • KU leads the all-time series with Kansas State, 65-41-5. The Jayhawks lead the series in games played in Manhattan, 28-24-3. Kansas State has won five-straight games over KU, including two-consecutive games in Manhattan. Kansas’ last win in the series was a 52-21 win over the Wildcats in Lawrence in 2008.

Kansas is 3-1-3 all-time in games played on Nov. 29. The Jayhawks played their first-ever game on Nov. 29 in 1900 when they tied Missouri, 6-6. Kansas has faced Missouri in six of the seven games it has played on Nov. 29, forging a 2-1-3 mark against the Tigers. In the Jayhawks’ last outing on Nov. 29 they defeated Arizona on the road, 54-28, in 1947. 

Kansas has 19 Sunflower state natives on its roster, while Kansas State fields 54 native Kansans on its roster. Some connections include Kansas State starting quarterback Jake Waters playing at Iowa Western CC with both Kansas offensive lineman Mike Smithburg and safety Isaiah Johnson. KU BUCK Michael Reynolds and KSU kicker Jack Cantele won three-straight district titles together at Kapaun Mt. Carmel HS in Wichita. KU BUCK Victor Simmons played with KSU linebacker Tre’ Walker at Olathe North HS. Kansas quarterback Montell Cozart and wide receivers Justin McCay and Tre’ Parmalee attended Bishop Miege High School with KSU wide receiver Stanton Weber. Kansas cornerback Dexter McDonald and offensive lineman Joe Gibson and Wildcats’ defensive lineman Jordan Willis all hail from Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, Missouri. KU Director of Athletics, Dr. Sheahon Zenger, earned both a bachelors and masters degree from KSU. At age 23, Zenger joined Bill Snyder’s staff at Kansas State as one of the nation’s youngest full-time football staff members; he served in key roles as assistant recruiting coordinator and director of football operations for the Wildcats. KU Assistant to the AD George Matsakis also started his career in football at Kansas State under Snyder, working in the video department from 1993-96 after concluding his playing career at KSU.

Kansas State’s offense is averaging 35.2 points per outing this season and in total has scored 352 points on the year. The offense has moved the first down chains a total of 212 times – 79 by rush and 114 by pass.  The Wildcats have rushed for 1,417 yards on 365 attempts, breaking down to an average of 3.9 yards per rush and 142 yards per game. Kansas State has put the ball in the end zone by rush a total of 25 times in 2014. Through the air, KSU has thrown for 2,787 yards and 15 touchdowns on 195 completions out of 309 attempts, while tossing just six interceptions. The Wildcats average 279 yards through the air in each contest. Overall, Kansas State has put up 4,204 yards of total offense and is averaging 420 yards per game. Inside the 20-yard line KSU scores 88 percent of the time and converts a touchdown 67 percent of the time. Quarterback Jake Waters is a dual-threat at the position rushing for 419 yards and seven touchdowns on the year, while throwing for 2,569 yards and 14 touchdowns compared to five interceptions. All-American wide receiver Tyler Lockett has caught a team-high 70 passes for 1,074 yards and six touchdowns, and is averaging 107 yards per game. Lockett also leads the country in punt return yardage averaging 20.2 yards each return.  

Defensively, Kansas State is tough to score points on after only giving up 21 points per game. K-State has allowed 199 first downs this season and is more susceptible to the pass than the rush – 74 rushing first downs and 115 passing. Teams have rushed for a combined 1,264 yards and only average 3.7 yards per carry and nine touchdowns. In the air, opponents have completed 211-of-347 passes for 16 touchdowns, while throwing 12 interceptions. The Wildcats also don’t allow touchdowns when they get backed up inside their 20-yard line, allowing a touchdown only 55 percent of the time (16-of-29). The fourth quarter of games has been the opponents’ best opportunity to put points on the board, as KSU has allowed 70 points to its opponents in the final frame. The first quarter has proved to be the toughest to score on the Wildcats’ defense as they have only given up 38 points in the opening period.  Individually, linebacker Jonathan Truman leads the team with 95 total tackles – 34 more than the second leading tackler. Defensive end Ryan Mueller has garnered a team-best 4.5 sacks on the year, while defensive back Morgan Burns has picked off a team-high three passes.

After 17 successful seasons building the Kansas State football program from the ground up as the head coach in Manhattan from 1989-2005, Bill Snyder retired from the sidelines. Four years later, he returned in 2009 to lead the Wildcats once again and returned to lead KSU to a 7-5 campaign in 2010 and a berth in the inaugural Pinstripe Bowl. The Wildcats have again climbed to heights only previously seen under Snyder. KSU went 10-3 in 2011, finished No. 8 in the final BCS standings and earned their first Cotton Bowl invitation since 2001. Due to his success in 2011, Snyder was named the Woody Hayes National Coach of the Year, as well as picking up national coaching honors from Sporting News, Rivals.com and CBSSports.com, and the Big 12 Coach of the Year by the AP and Big 12 Coaches. He also coached 11 players to All-Big 12 honors, including Defensive Newcomer of the Year Arthur Brown and Offensive Freshman of the Year and Walter Camp All-Americans Tyler Lockett and Nigel Malone. In 2012 Snyder led the Wildcats to their third conference championship in school history and first since 2003. Kansas State, which won its first 10 games of the season and finished 11-1, with an 8-1 mark in Big 12 play, tied the school record for overall wins and conference victories. The Wildcats also jumped to No. 1 in the BCS rankings following its 10-0 start. Snyder finished the season taking home the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award, as well as Big 12 Coach of the Year honors for the second-straight season following the Cats’ memorable 2012 season that resulted in an appearance in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Since the beginning of the Big 12 Conference, Snyder and Kansas State have been a mainstay force in the league, ranking in the top three overall in Big 12 wins. Kansas State has also won more Big 12 road games than any team in the league during Snyder’s first tenure and advanced to the championship game three times.


  • Junior quarterback Michael Cummings threw for 84 yards in the contest, the first time Cummings has been held under 235 yards passing since taking over as the starting quarterback six weeks ago against Oklahoma State.
  • Senior wide receiver Nick Harwell was held without a reception for the first time this season which snapped a streak of 40-consecutive contests in which Harwell had caught a pass. Harwell’s 40 games with a reception ranked fourth in the country.
  • Kansas’ 19 rushing yards were the least since netting (-2) yards on 20 carries Oct. 29, 2011 at Texas.


  • Due to a bad snap on KU’s second drive, OU received the ball deep inside of Kansas’ territory. The Jayhawks got the ball back by way of an Oklahoma fumble which was forced by senior linebacker Ben Heeney and recovered by junior defensive lineman T.J. Semke at KU’s 10-yard line. The strip was Heeney’s second forced of the year and marked the Sooners first lost fumble of the season by a running back. KU forced and recovered two Oklahoma fumbles on the day.
  • KU’s defense forced its second fumble of the day with 13:34 left in the third quarter which was recovered by senior safety Cassius Sendish at the KU 39-yard line and returned 63 yards for a touchdown.
  • The last time Kansas scored a defensive touchdown occurred in 2013 when cornerback JaCorey Shepherd returned an interception 32 yards for a score against TCU.
  • The Kansas defense held Oklahoma to complete only three passes for 39 yards on Saturday, the lowest since the Jayhawks held Nebraska to complete just four passes for 33 yards on Oct. 25, 1997.
  • Junior safety Isaiah Johnson tied a career-high with 12 tackles.
  • Sophomore linebacker Courtney Arnick set a career-high with 10 stops against the Sooners.

Kansas’ defense has tightened once allowing opponents to enter the red zone. KU’s opponents have gotten in the red zone on 44 occasions, scoring on 32, good for 72.7 percent. More notable though, is that the Jayhawk ‘D’ has only allowed opponents to score 18 touchdowns on their 44 trips into the red zone, good for just 40.9 percent. The Kansas defense ranks first in the Big 12 and 14th nationally in red zone defense.

The Jayhawks will have 21 players suiting up in the Crimson and Blue for the final time in Saturday’s game at Kansas State. The following players have either exhausted their eligibility or have graduated and will not return next season:

83 Scott Baron TE 6-2   236 Jr. SQ Santa Ana, Calif. (Orange Lutheran HS)
25 Brandon Bourbon RB 6-1  225 Sr. 3L Potosi, Mo. (Potosi HS)
43 Ed Fink TE/FB 6-2  235 Sr. 1L Belleville, Ill. (Althoff HS)
63 Ngalu Fusimalohi OL 6-2 315 Sr. 1L Daly City, Calif. (CC of San Francisco)
38 Jaccare Givens S 5-9 185 Sr. TR Perrine, Fla. (Kansas State)
8 Nick Harwell WR 6-1 193 Sr. TR Missouri City, Texas (Miami [Ohio])
31  Ben Heeney LB 6-0 230 Sr. 3L Hutchinson, Kan. (Hutchinson HS)
99 Tedarian Johnson DL 6-2 290 Sr. 1L Jackson, Miss. (Hinds CC)
61 Pat Lewandowski OL 6-5  290 Sr. 3L Overland Park, Kan. (Blue Valley West HS)
19 Justin McCay WR 6-2 210 Sr. 1L Kansas City, Mo. (Oklahoma)
12 Dexter McDonald CB 6-1 205 Sr. 2L Kansas City, Mo. (Butler CC)
41 Jimmay Mundine TE 6-2 240 Sr. 3L Denison, Texas (Denison HS)
16 Trevor Pardula P/K 6-5 212 Sr. 1L San Jose, Calif. (De Anza College)
3 Tony Pierson WR 5-10  175 Sr. 3L East St. Louis, Ill. (East St. Louis HS)
55 Michael Reynolds BUCK 6-1 240 Sr. 2L Wichita, Kan. (Kapaun Mt. Carmel HS)
33 Cassius Sendish S 6-0 195 Sr. 1L Waldorf, Md. (Arizona Western CC)
24 JaCorey Shepherd CB 5-11 195 Sr. 3L Mesquite, Texas (Mesquite Horn HS)
27 Victor Simmons BUCK 6-1  225 Sr. 3L Olathe, Kan. (Olathe North HS)
85 Trent Smiley TE 6-4 240 Sr. 2L Frisco, Texas (Wakeland HS)
65 Mike Smithburg OL 6-3 305 Sr. 1L Fairfield, Iowa (Iowa Western CC)
98 Keon Stowers DL 6-3 297 Sr. 2L Rock Hill, S.C. (Georgia Military College)